Tag Archives: 911

Would You Text Your Emergency to 911?


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Mashable reported that the FCC may allow you to send text messages to 911, as well as images and video. They feel that this would lead to better, faster responses. I feel that it’s stupid and lazy. I mean, the time it would take to type out the text of what the situation is, what you need, and where you are, you could have just called! Why are we so unwilling to talk to people nowadays? Are we really going to text, “OMG I’M Being Killed”?

No one likes to talk to anyone these days, I know. As Lamarr points out, it’s pretty pathetic if we cannot make a phone call to emergency services. He feels this is the death of everything that is American. If someone is chasing you down the street with a gun, are you going to text that in?

Video, audio and pictures may be a good idea, yes. But typing out an issue and location will likely take a lot longer than simply calling them to begin with. Also, imagine the poor non-tech-savvy older person who is a dispatcher trying to decode your l33t sp34k. Seriously? Does no one else see this is a potential dangerous issue?

What are your thoughts? Is Lamarr way off base here? Or is he on to something?

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Things You Should Know When Calling 911

Geek!This is Polaris Fire’s submission for the HP Magic Giveaway. Feel free to leave comments for this article as you see fit – your feedback is certainly welcomed! If you’d like to submit your own how-to, what-is, or top-five list, you can send it to me. Views and opinions of this writer are not necessarily my own:

  • Where are you? It’s amazing that people call 911 and can’t give even an approximate description of their location. If you need help, it is imperative that the help be able to find you. Even today, with cell phones and GPS, many rural areas don’t have these features available to them for locating people. Give landmarks that the dispatcher can use to tell the fire engine drivers where to go as most likely these will be local people that know their way around your area. Use nearby streets as a guide also.
  • Know your phone number. The dispatcher, be they fire, sheriff, highway patrol or local police, needs to know where to call if they need further information. They may need to call back to find out a better address, cross street or tell the caller some piece of information, like the arrival time of the engine or ambulance, or if there is anything the caller should be doing. Please speak clearly and slowly that the number can be conveyed accurately. If they need it repeated, do so until you and they are sure it is correct as there may be issues with cell phone service or a bad connection.
  • Know that the first people that respond may not be arriving with an engine. Many municipalities hire volunteers or paid call fire fighters in the community to augment the fire station’s staff. They usually arrive in private vehicles with turnout gear (boots, pants, coat, helmet, gloves and such) but do not have immediate access to other equipment until the engines arrive. Some do have access to brush or squad type vehicles (these are usually pick-up trucks with utility beds for various purposes) but usually do not have access to full fire engines unless they have taken months of training first.
  • Be in a location that they can find you but not be in the way. If your home is off the beaten path, go to the main street and wait for emergency personnel to show up so you can guide them to where they need to be. And then move out of the way so they can do their job. If it’s dark, use a flashlight to wave at the ground (not in their faces!) so they can identify you and find where they need to be going. Stay near your car, or other landmark where you can be found easily. If you are near your car, use its hazard flashers to get people’s attention.
  • Stay calm. Yelling at the dispatcher isn’t going to make the fire fighters appear quicker. As a matter of fact, the delay in providing accurate and factual information in a calm manner can mean the difference in life and death. The 15 seconds spent speaking in an understandable voice can help the emergency personnel avoid delays in having insufficient, inaccurate or plain wrong information in getting the help you need to you in a timely and safe manner. Those 15 seconds can save 2 minutes or more in trying to get the information to the people that need it.

Move Over, Michael Moore!

Loose Change Second Edition was 100x better than Fahrenheit 9/11. You can watch it now online. And yes, I’m asking you to watch it now. Their film made much more sense to me than what I’ve been spoonfed by “the media” on information surrounding September 11th. Not to quote my favorite skeptic out of context, but even the original Dr. Phil is starting to get pissed off over what’s happening with our world these days (Is the government trying to kill us?). Make up your own mind, my friends – don’t let someone else make it up for you.